Here, Dayan discusses how he transformed a newly-constructed home with a few design issues, into something stunning.
“Located in California, the homeowner had purchased the newly-constructed home from a developer, who assured them that ‘only the very best of everything was used’. Not quite the case, I discovered a short time after arriving at the property for the first walk-through. I observed the quality of work which did not appear to be at all compatible with the formal and elegant architecture, nor with the location which is surrounded by multi-million-dollar mansions. I proceeded to draw the owner’s attention to some of the details I found most alarming, and much to my content, the critique was accepted kindly, and with an open mind. I was asked to start the redesigning process straight away.
“The conceptual design I developed was to transform the interior and exterior areas by upgrading them to a true European class, and yet give the design a contemporary twist – with the ‘volume knob turned nearly all the way up’. This dramatic transformation presented extremes where I incorporated classical elements into modern dressing, and finishing, often resulting in a totally new creative style. Proportions were also enlarged to suit the high ceilings and vast spaces. Dramatic lighting operated by sophisticated electronic controls enable the owner to command most functions in the house from anywhere in the world. I must admit, the home does command a sense of drama, which I attribute to my career as a Set Designer for TV both in London and Hollywood, which enabled me to draw from this diverse background and achieve a distinct impact, while maintaining subtlety, and provide for elegance, and yet treasure the ever-so-unique Californian lifestyle, which attracts many from around the world. Close ties with local and global manufacturers and suppliers enabled me to modify standard production items to meet my specifications, in size, shape and finish.
“The outdoor areas also received proper upgrading when the tropical garden that adorned the front of the house was replaced with aged olive trees, architectural urns and dramatic lighting. A new firepit, bar, dining for 12, lounge and sunbathing area provide a complete outdoor living environment in an area where the climate allows for enjoyment around the year. A mesmerising sculpture of hunting cherubs provides a focal point near the top of the swimming pool which did not remain unchanged. An Italian artist laboured to paint thousands of 10cm square tiles to compose a magnificent picture designed by myself. And at night, this work of art is illuminated with LED lighting that changes infinite colours and hues.”
The powder room
The windows are adorned in a made-to-order silk shade, trimmed with French scalloped passementerie and Swarovski crystal beads.
The media room
Fully adjustable captain’s chairs provide leisure viewing of films and a TV atop a leopard-print carpet in the media room.
The grand stairwell
Intricate marble provides a focal point, welcoming guests to the formal living room, adorned with stone pillars topped with bronze capitals. English Axminster carpet with brass rods, a silver railing and hand-painted ceiling leads to the second floor.
The grand stairwell features British-made Axminister carpet, as a silver iron and black handrail graces the ascent to the second floor. A waterjet cutting process was used to create marble intarsia beneath the iron and crystal chandelier.
The living room
Massive stone-like columns with bronze capitals command the approach to the formal living room while an antique fireplace, hand-carved marble with gilded bronze ornaments soars 190cm high and the steel fireplace fender spans over 2.5m wide. Softening the majestic windows is silk fabric while the crystal chandelier is reflected in the 3.8m-high architectural frame, designed by Dayan.
Crafted in Italy – like all the cabinet works and walk-in closet assemblies in this mansion – the kitchen cabinets were designed by Dayan, who also selected the Caesarea-made countertop materials. The best of European plumbing and lighting fittings were specified by Dayan who also utilised pearl-like metallic paint to create a magical iridescent effect upon the sky-reaching ceiling.
A cosy firepit grouping offers a magnificent view of the swimming pool and sculpture originated at a prestigious East Coast Vanderbilt mansion.
The rear of the property did not escape the magic touch of Dayan who redesigned the swimming pool, composed a bar, dining, lounge, sunbathing area and created a cosy firepit. The floor of the pool is a masterful creation of hand-painted ceramic tiles, composed to form the beauty of a Versace-like scarf, which Dayan illuminates with LED lighting that changes colors and hues every 30 seconds – a breathtaking experience for all who experienced it.